These are the narcissists who are difficult to spot because they appear to be doing good things, the hero narcissists.
They hide beneath behind the image of being a good person, whilst their agenda is only to serve their own purposes.
In some way they will gain from it, be it attention or for a boost to their image or ego.
The Charitable Hero Narcissist
These are the narcissists who run or are very active in a charity or organisation.
They are the ones who appear to dedicate themselves to a good cause, which can often make them more difficult to identify.
These causes can be a church organisation, a charity, volunteering in a charity/thrift shop, volunteering to help with out of school activities, feeding the homeless, helping out at a animal refuge, raising money for a disadvantaged school or area etc.
It seems to be a huge contrast- how can they be abusive and yet do good?
This is how it feeds them, they get to be the centre of attention and it’s good for their image. This is exactly what a narcissist wants.
How they speak about what they do will be an indicator of their true intentions.
If they are always the martyr, always making sacrifices for their cause and telling everyone there is little genuine or sincere about their work.
Other people’s work for the cause will be ignored or belittled.
Everything becomes about them. All the good work will be attributed to them, in one way or another. Or else the success of the cause will be entirely dependent on them they are central to it- at least as far as they are concerned.
Their efforts will be exaggerated, blown out of all proportion, unrealistic and lied about.
Their donation which meant that a well could be constructed in some far off remote African village becomes the village named after them because they funded the school, fed the village and built the church.
So, whilst their actions may appear to be good, what are the actual intentions behind it?
There will be so many red flags that will show their true intentions behind it.
A narcissist I knew was involved with her local church. She attended every week and helped with fund raising, until her health got too bad. Her financial contributions continued until she died.
It was good for her image.
Later I discovered that she made those contributions so she could claim the church’s help if she needed it when her husband died.
She was just making the time, energy and small financial investment so she could gain in the future.
The Fix-It Martyr Hero Narcissist
These are the narcissists who sweep in and offer or force their help on people.
Often their help will not be sought or required, but they won’t listen to that.
Their help will be foisted onto someone, often unasked for, and frequently not wanted. Their victim will be bullied or manipulated into accepting their help. No won’t be taken as no, but only as a challenge to the narcissist to turn it all around and get their own way.
They will take charge, whilst making it appear that they are helping out. They will interfere and make sure that their victim doesn’t get what they want.
It’s about them asserting their power and control. No-one else’s feelings, rights or opinions will be listened to, let alone taken into consideration.
They get to assert their superiority because they will tell you they know more about it than you do, even if they don’t know anything about it! They thrive on you trusting them, making decisions based on their advice, even though it may not be the best thing.
It will feel as if they are involving themselves in something where their help is not required.
They will expect a lot of gratitude and appreciation even whilst pretending that they don’t. But it won’t be enough.
It will also be used against their victim, made out to look as if the narcissist inconvenienced themselves or were out of pocket for the help whilst the victim didn’t even thank them.
Often these Fix It Hero narcissists do a shoddy job, which takes longer to put right than doing it yourself.
This gives them another fix, you have to be grateful even though you know you didn’t want their help and you both know that they did an awful job of it.
These narcissists will only be interested in fixing it if they can be in charge. It gives them a power rush and attention that they need. They won’t be interested in offering advice or helping in any other way. It’s all about them or they are not interested.
Everything that they do for you will be in expectation that you do something for them.
It could be excessive gratitude and appreciation, or it could be that you are expected to pay them back at any time in the future. Or else it will be used against you, making you out to be ungrateful, and exploiting the narcissist’s ‘good’ nature to anyone willing to listen to the narcissist’s lies.
The Supervising Hero Narcissist
These are the narcissists that act as if you are incapable of anything.
They will watch over you, stood just behind you asking you if that’s the right thing to do. Offering unsolicited advice and treating you as if you don’t have a clue what you’re doing.
Often, they will act as if they are the expert in it, even if they’ve never done it before.
Everything you do will be commented on, usually in a critical tone saying something like ‘I wouldn’t have done it like that, but you know best….’.
They relish acting superior in any circumstance and will relish the thought of you doing something for them whilst they find it all wrong.
Sometimes they will take over and screw it up, and then it becomes your fault! They will not take responsibility for their actions, preferring instead to use the opportunity to abuse you.
Anything you do for them they will find fault with.
They won’t offer any help.
They will just sit there, offering their opinion.
Sometimes it can be dangerous, the narcissist’s ignorance and lack of experience. It doesn’t stop them supervising though.
A narcissist I knew once wanted some shelves putting up.
She roped in her 14-year-old son to help. Her husband was pretty useless at these kind of things.
‘We want them there,’ she said pointing.
‘But if I drill there there’s an electric cable,’ said the son pointing to the socket just under where they wanted to drill.
‘No, there’s not.’ She said.
So, her son drilled and hit an electrical wire. Fortunately, he only got a small electric shock as the house electrics tripped.
This story became the story about how stupid their son was for wanting to drill into an electric cable.
The Hindering Hero Narcissist
These narcissists will cause or aggravate a problem in order to swoop in and save the day.
It makes their victim feel that the narcissist is indispensable to them, that they can’t cope without them.
Often this will be when the child is an adult and perfectly capable of helping themselves. The child is manipulated to feel reliant on the narcissist, and this keeps them close to their abuser.
There are the promises that they will be there if there is ever a problem. But when there is a problem the narcissist disappears or makes the issue worse.
Or else there is a problem and they swoop in like the saviour and save the day. But it is only to keep their victim close, win them favour, get them attention and make their child feel useless and incapable.
A narcissistic parent will manipulate their child into thinking there is a problem, so the child goes to them for help and advice. The child takes their advice although it is bad advice and it makes the whole situation worse.
In appearing to care their child feels that their parent loves them. However, it is all an act, being involved in their child’s life and business gives the narcissist the opportunity to further their own agenda, which is to keep their child reliant on them, isolated and not trusting anyone else.
Anything shared with a narcissist will be used against you.
A narcissistic partner may cause a problem or make an issue between their victim and a friend. Then they can be the go-between and sort out the problem between the friends. They look like the saviour, like a good person but they manipulated and caused the situation.
They will interfere in things which don’t involve them, using concern as their excuse, but really it is so that they can sabotage and watch our disappointment.
These narcissists want a front row seat to witness our sadness or unhappiness.
Perhaps they offer support and appear to care if your marriage is failing. Then they exploit this to undermine you further, then they watch as you crumble.
There is no support there.
It appears to people that they care, your relationship will be gossiped about, you made to look bad, your spouse to look worse, and the whole situation something that the narcissist will wring their hands over.
They will exploit the drama and the attention that they get. The things that they do will be only to make them look good, but behind closed doors there will be no support.
It’s all about their image.
The War Hero Narcissist
These are the narcissists who have done something heroic or admirable in their lives.
It could be something that they will constantly talk about and remind people of.
Sometimes, they will feign humility over the incident, but there will be others around them trained and primed to talk the hero talk for them.
It will become a part of their identity. They will become angry or frustrated if people do not refer to it or acknowledge them for it.
It could also be that they expected some sort of reward for their behaviour, but never got it. This is the resentful hero narcissist, they never got the public accolade and recognition, or attention or ego/image boost that they wanted.
Real heros don’t speak about what they’ve done.
Heros are humble, embarrassed even to talk about it, they don’t expect any public or private recognition for it. They rarely speak about it, and don’t see anything exceptional about it. Their actions were those of a good, decent, caring human being.
The narcissist, as they are not decent human beings expect a reward for it.
How to identify the hero narcissist
Their true intentions will be obvious from the things that they say and the way that they behave.
Something will feel off about them, a kind of discomfort because of the incongruency between their apparently good actions and their true intentions. The energy will be off.
If everything is about them then that’s a huge red flag.
Don’t tell a narcissist what you are doing or want to do. The less they know the less they can interfere or get themselves involved and sabotage it. Anything that they have on you they will use against you.
If they find out, then it’s time for boundaries.
No means no. You don’t want help, don’t let them bully you into it.
Don’t pander to the charitable narcissist or the war hero. Ignore their blatant demands for admiration or praise.
The less interest you show the less attention they get and the more likely it’ll be that they leave you alone.
Don’t respond to the drama.
The best thing to do is to distance yourself from them, slowly and gradually.
Let them find someone else to drain energy from!
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